and now, for something completely different.

Good ride home.

I had an absolutely great ride home today, and it made absolutely no sense to me.

My little girl was up a good portion of the night last night, so I doubt I got more than 2.5 hours of sleep.  Add on top of that, full exhaustion of the day of work.  Then there was Friday’s ride home, where I did a short 10km route home and was faced with 30-40km/h winds in my face the whole darn time.  It was raining too, but I don’t mind that.  Riding in the rain is just wet, riding in the wind feels like mother nature is personally singling you out for a large amount of unnecessary torture.  Wow, that was horrifying.  I actually swore at Nose Hill Dr. as I was riding up it, refusing to drop to the granny gear on the Norco.

Such a different story today.  By all rights, I should have been exhausted.  I started with a resting heart rate of 80bpm, which is pretty darn lazy if you ask me.  Then I rode from the University Research Park across the University Campus, down past the hospital, and to the Bow river.  I felt like an absolute god, completely invincible.  So, I decided to push it.  I headed left towards downtown at the river to make a 20km loop home, instead of making a 13km loop that would be achieved by turning right.  I didn’t get to kill the hill by the hospital like I usually do because of high traffic, but I kept a pretty good clip going for the rest of the ride.  The muscles hurt a bit doing it (they’re always gonna complain) but they didn’t stop providing power.  I also maintained a pretty decently high heartrate more comfortably, as compared to rides I’ve done in the last couple of weeks.  I don’t think I could have sustained a higher pace for the ride than I did, but the sustained pace I had was much improved over last week.

The charts speak for themselves.  Forgive the mess, but I only wanted one picture.  🙂

Stats from my ride home from work, August 8, 2011. Data comes from my Garmin Edge 305, and the graph comes from Sport Tracks.

You can see the speed is kept pretty constantly near 30km/h.  My hearrate seems to always hover near 175-180, but never lower than 160 (unless I had to stop for something – and even if I did, that’s fast recovery!).  That awful climb at the end is Nose Hill Drive, but it makes a really cool shape to the graphs:  speed goes down, heart rate goes up and grade goes up!  I need to get my speed up on that climb with the full panniers.  It’s better than last week, as I was hovering around 10km/h, but I know from last year that I’m easily capable of sustaining at least 13km/h on that with the full ballast of my lunch bag, clothes, laptop bag, and jacket in the panniers.  The thing I’m happiest about on the heart rate plot is not how high it is, but how comfortable I stayed while keeping that high value throughout the ride.  I was worried about running out of power, but I didn’t.

Hmmph.  Maybe the awful ride on Friday slapped some performance into my sorry legs!


4 responses to “Good ride home.

  1. Chad August 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Cool. The biggest hill I have is over the freeway at the university. Maybe 20 m – lol. Good old flat saskabush!

    I’m not sure if you use bike paths or not but I’m on the road and have lights and stop signs and such. I do manage about 20-24km/h on average over the ride though. Strangely enough, I use my phones GPS and “My Tracks” developed by a group from google to track everything. It even loads straight into google docs which is nice.

    How far is your ride? I have about 5.7 km each way. Gets you going for the day and a quick bit of relax after work…

  2. sulfurlad August 9, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I use a mixture of bike paths and roads. I generally try to engineer my routes for minimum (car) traffic at a given point during the day. My ride in the morning is about 7.6km, and that’s mostly on suburban streets. One of them is a majorish boulevard, so I steer clear of that in the evening (plus, it’s going uphill on the way home, which means I’m going way slower in the evening wrt traffic).

    So, for the evening, I usually do a different route. I pick one of a few that I have, but they’re usually down by the Bow River. I have to go uphill to get home anyways, so I figure I might as well find a nice path. 🙂 My routes home vary from 10km to 20km.

    I have an app on my phone too, it is called AllSport GPS. I have it in case I forget my GPS at home for a long road ride. Backup! 🙂

  3. Chad August 9, 2011 at 10:16 am

    lol – that’s great! And congrats on the baby as well 🙂

  4. Pingback: Great Ride Home. « azzurriffopubijix

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